C4Wk1- Frameworks for Learning

We Are All Teachers of Technology

Technology integration is a way for teachers to enhance their lessons for better student engagement and understanding. Using the frameworks of TPACK & SAMR as a guide to better help everyone reflect and improve their lessons.

TPACK is the combination of one’s Content & Pedagogical knowledge with Technological knowledge. Content knowledge being what the teacher knows about their subject matter- or the what, Pedagogical knowledge being what the teacher knows about methods of teaching and learning- or the how, and the Technological knowledge being what the teacher already knows about technology. With the dotted outline being the different contexts that lessons take place in all around the world.


I found the SAMR Lesson Planner mind map extremely helpful to help distinguish the use of technology from going from just the enhancement stage to being a huge transformation in learning and lesson design.

These two frameworks of technology integration are similar as they aid teachers in organizing and outlining what teachers need to know and do in order to better understand how to integrate technology in their classrooms.

Yet they differ in their focus. TPACK focuses more on the knowledge that is needed to integrate technology in meaningful ways, whereas SAMR focuses on what technology integration specifically looks like.

This video is a great explanation of how the two models are intertwined.


Our school currently uses this framework to create a safe environment for learning. My own practices align with our learning principles as I continually strive to ensure that learning stays personal as we continually focus on ILP goals and learning how to pull ourselves out of the learning pit.  Most importantly having students feeling okay to take risks and learn from our mistakes.

We also strive to move towards the model of the T3 Framework for Innovation which claims to quadruple student achievement based on their research.

I do not have a preference, over any of them, but I do find the Technology Integration Matrix as another extremely helpful tool when describing and targeting your use for technology. From entry-level to transformational levels across 5 different areas of meaningful learning environments: Active, Collaborative, Constructive, Authentic, and Goal-Directed.  What I really liked about this matrix was that they were all things that can be equally done through on-line learning as well as for in person instruction.  Whether you’re at the adoption, adaptation, or infusion level the main goal being to reflect where you’re at and see what lessons and units one can begin to transform.

My Classroom

Technology integration has increased dramatically since moving to distance/digital learning. Even with hybrid learning, more and more classes are fully functioning via Google Classroom and other Google tools.

Limited face to face contact with our students has really allowed me to dive headfirst into the technology pool and model what it is like for our students to take risks and try new and creative ways for teaching and learning.

Photo taken from Pixaby

My own practice of technology integration would vary dramatically between my different classes. From my “pull out” support classes like “Learning Resource Class”(LRC) or “English for Academic Purposes” (EAP) would be evaluated entirely different than my co-taught Humanities and Math.

Having a small group of 3-6 students in LRC and EAP with an instructional aide has been very effective at trying out new technologies and changing things up day to day or week to week. We’ve been able to enhance numerous lessons and move away from the simple substitution of technology within lessons to more modifications happening for great transformations to take place.

Looking back at when I first started teaching, in the United States, and resources and professional development was let’s just say, limited, my growth in technology continues to develop more and more in the international setting. From overhead projectors being replaced with SmartBoards and carrying on with doing the same thing though slightly enhanced, with the tech. to completely re-looking at lesson design and putting the focus back on the Pedagogy and Content and only THEN exploring the ways that technology can enhance your craft.

Here’s a glace at my Collaborative Co-teaching Bitmoji Classroom- but more details on the transformation involved coming soon!

Where do you see yourself and the technology use in your classroom?

C3Wk4- The Art of Communication

Visual aides have a quick way to either support your content or completely overwhelm or even bore your audience.

man in pink crew neck t-shirt

Communication, especially for students who have auditory processing difficulties or who don’t speak English as their first language rely on these visuals to fully comprehend the content. Educators need to not only rely on how they were taught, but continue to model how to be present while learning.

Photo by THABANG MADNSELA on Unsplash

We have all experienced boredom… the last thing any educator wants is for those feelings to be present in the classroom

Olivia Chow's Community Art Project - Screwed Out of Our Share

“Olivia Chow’s Community Art Project – Screwed Out of Our Share” by Tania Liu is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The first step I would take to support my colleagues with enhancing their communication with visual aides would be to show them the Ted Talk:

The Art of Delivering Information | Mike Johnston | TEDxLaSierraUniversity

I couldn’t agree more that educators tend to get bogged down with the content and focus less on the delivery. The actual education aspects all being in the delivery. The delivery of the content is where the art form comes into play and can be seen as a talent.

“Cracking the Code” is seen as the step that we as educators must take when asking ourselves,

“WHY isn’t the kid getting it?”

and even more importantly telling ourselves,

“It’s on ME!”

Continually looking for ways to present and deliver our content in the most engaging ways possible is the reason education is an art form, not just a science. We must treat each and every lesson like a sold-out performance, where our students are eagerly awaiting the tickets.

Magnifying, Glass, Detective, Looking, Lens, Proof

The books “Teach Like a Pirate” and “Tech like a Pirate” are more resources I have found beneficial. They help your students make real-world connections and get excited about their learning. Eventually leading up to the ultimate goal of students being more in control over their learning.

The visual aid I chose to update this week was our referral chart for the Student of Concerns process. I think almost every year these charts change as our school evolves on how to best meet the needs of our students.

As you can see in the first and second images, these were the old flow charts from 2018 and 2019. With keeping this week’s resources in mind I was able to summarize the information to keep it simple yet draw your attention to the main areas focusing on size and color contrast.

2018    2019

I gathered feedback at my grade level meeting using the Connections protocol. It was easily facilitated and I was able to gather data quickly in the sense that it was still very unclear what many of our acronyms stand for in SEN- which in it of itself is an acronym still not well known outside of the Special Education Needs world.  The feedback collected left us with a sense that most teachers are still unclear with the process on what to do when faced with struggling students, that pave the way for a smooth referral process into the Special Education program if need be.

This time around I made sure to keep things short and avoid the title being the largest thing on the page.  I simplified the sentences to shorter words which allowed me to go more in detail about being referred to the SEN program vs. just stating a “more intensive level of intervention”.  It was a little more difficult to achieve as a visual aid standing alone, but I chose to still create it in Google Slides so that it could have the animation highlighting the worlds and dimming them afterward when presenting this flow chart at our MS faculty meetings.  Highlighting a new section while you present while dimming the information you have already spoken about is a really effective way to hold your audience’s attention.

Having the title not be the largest thing on the slide was a surprise, but entirely made sense to keep your key points the largest. It leaves me wondering then why all templates within these programs have the slide designed that way from the start.   I was already implementing the design rules of only a few words on slides and avoiding full sentences, but these resources were a great reminder to ensure people are not getting bored and sitting through my presentations with an “ugh”.

How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint

by David JP Phillips- TEDxStockholmSalon and by Don Mcmillan (Stand up Comedy) were also great resources.  They reinforce the overuse of acronyms happening within many classrooms. We need to ensure that there is consistency between classrooms as well as the importance of font selection.

Life After Death by PowerPoint

What does your font say about you?




I would like to learn more about the magic number of 6. As I find it fascinating how people on average recognize this number but once it goes over we start to count. We have used this rule before when working with Student Service Learning trips- whether it is called Week Without Walls or Discovery Week, these teacher-led trips 

Blue, Glass, Marbles, Kids, Games, Play, Round

often involve a high number of students traveling to another country for a period of time. When doing a risk analysis we have applied this rule of 6 in terms of the Teacher to Student Ratio. So that at any given moment when traveling throughout an airport, museum, or market you as the chaperone can quickly and effectively keep a watchful eye on the students you have been entrusted with. I know not every school follows this rule, at times chaperoning small groups that are larger than this.  But knowing that…


…it takes 500% more brain power energy to count…

I would think this would become a standardized practice for all positions where student safety could be at risk.

This weeks design principals have reminded me how many presentations we sit through as well as the ones our students participate in, must be more engaging and stress the importance of not only questioning and storytelling but reminding ourselves about dessert first and having passion when explaining.

You Are the Presentation

Not the Slides…

The Slides Are Your Visual Aide


“YOU!” by Marcy Leigh is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Please don’t forget to take part in our Community Text Rendering that can be found here: COETAIL’S Cycle of Socialization. 

And leave a comment “below”- I’d love to see what your school’s Student of Concern Process looks likes and how to best communicate this with the wider school audience outside the SEN Departments.

C3W3: See What I Mean

This week I really enjoyed working in Piktochart and creatively re-doing my entire resume. I had started an infographic resume years ago, but after reading through this week’s resources, I realized I had to scrap the entire project and it was easier to begin a new one.  It wasn’t even up to the standards of screenshotting it for a before and after shot, it was that bad.

Collaborating with colleagues old and new I got some great tips and found the process of creating my infographic very rewarding.

I was able to insert a video type introduction/cover letter,

but also found that my project file size was too large to embed to the blog post, even just embedding the video alone was too large.  Having to break it up into segments, I found the resolution quality also then got lost in the downloads and uploads.

Playing around with spacing and color scales, I ended up with a product I’m quite happy with. This project made me look forward to when I begin to job search once again, but with the audience in mind, I couldn’t help but ask,

“Will more traditional schools and hiring committees appreciate or find value in this level of creativity and art?”

I would hate to design something that I feel truly and accurately represents me as an educator, but then hinder my chances on the job market.

Even with the audience in mind, I tried not to let it deter me from what I envisioned an infographic all about me would look like.  My only advice before diving in, without a template, is to really draft what you want to show first and then begin the creative process.  In the past, this process was greatly different as I would usually just get on Etsy for resume templates  and easily find a great looking one and plug all my information into it in no time.

Why re-invent the wheel, when many people have already perfected resume templates?

But below I embedded some screenshots into my blog as well, to hopefully sway more people into giving it a try, and seeing what you come up with. When researching these, I found very few educator examples, but many of which were for people in design type jobs.  But seeing all that there is out there, it was great to model and pull from many inspiring works and remix it up into something your very own.

I look forward to getting comments and feedback on how others find my resume and suggestions and ways to continue to make it better.- TYIA

Don’t forget to leave a comment…

C3W2: Collaboration Facilitation

Collaboration enhances and deepens learning because multiple people are coming together to share their experiences and methods of teaching. It’s a magical thing that can grow organically

when trust has been established and everyone participating feels safe and empowered to contribute.

Greater learning takes place when students can see teachers working together and building off of one another (vs. contradiction) and there is consistency with expectations and guidelines for everything: from work production to in-class participation.

(Image taken from: Digital Capability at http://digitalcapability.com.au/collaboration-key-success/)

I chose to facilitate a study group through the use of FlipGrid & Padlet.

Our activity was to prepare for an upcoming Assessment of Learning, and have a discussion around any misconceptions about any of the “I Can statements” for the Math 8 classroom standards.

It started by posting the expectations and process directions on our google classroom page, with clear step by step directions and links that take them directly to the different sites. When clicking on the first link to Flipgrid, the expectations and guidelines for the activity were also given as a short video clip, with again repeated directions written out. This way students were able to not only read what to do, b

ut hear about it directly from me, their teacher, in a short 2-minute video. Having the Padlet in addition to the flipgrid feedback, allowed each “I Can Statement” to have their own section, but all within the same place- yet not allow it to get too busy with all the student videos, then making it cumbersome to study from or work off of.

This experience challenged my students, as they had to not only watch the review, re-teach videos, for any concepts they were struggling with, but also post their own flipgrid videos with the extra practice problems and commenting on others’ videos if they agreed with the work being shown or any feedback on how to better show their understanding. Using both Flipgrid and Padlet has challenged some of my shyer students to get use to filming themselves as well as putting themselves out there to accept criticism given from their peers about their work, especially on something that has thrown them into “the learning pit.” For some students who are uncomfortable with the videoing of themselves, whether it was a cultural reason or not, they were allowed to submit their thinking and feedback in alternative ways by means of an e-mail or voice recording (if they were comfortable do that) other students were also able to complete the videos but used the different features offered within flipgrid to hid their face behind an emoji or simply cover up with written text that supported what they were saying.

Facilitating these types of activities and discussions was extremely helpful especially as we moved into a hybrid learning style this year and have half our student population learning from home or even engaging in the learning opportunities asynchronously from other countries/time zones.

I think this specific activity and facilitated discussion hits a number of the  ISTE student standards:

1.Empowered Learner- showing & developing competency in their learning goals

2.Digital Citizen- being respectful towards one another when leaving their feedback and commenting on others’ work

5. Computational Thinker- showing different ways of solving the problems

6. Creative Communicator- clearly expressing themselves creatively using thew given platform

                    Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Being a culturally competent educator supports relationships, especially in an international school setting, by providing that safe and welcoming environment for students to thrive in.  Where their differences and unique backgrounds aren’t just known but celebrated.  Along with challenging students with the “new normal” or learning to appreciate what is “normal” for other people coming from their own unique set of experiences.

We watched this video, celebrating and challenging what each person considers to be a “typical morning breakfast” and reach outside their comfort zones to yet again get rid of the word- normal.

Appreciating cultural competency would also apply on a larger scale, outside of the classroom, for the school as a community. How many international schools still value the “North American” passport holders or native English speakers? It won’t be until a staff of teachers within a school not only shows cultural diversity but celebrates it by welcoming all to the classrooms as teachers. (Which understandably can come with its own unique challenges i.e. obtaining visas).

How will you celebrate a “new normal”???

C3W1: More time to Design

If there we no limitations I would change up my entire blog post, in terms of colors and layout, with different sections liking to other topics. When I looked into changing the theme, it just wasn’t quite right with what I was envisioning.  It would be nice to just be able to change things on your site, by drag and drop, or expanding, vs. changing up entire themes. Though, spending time re-evaluating other themes and which might be best suitable for future blogging endeavors was helpful after learning about the visual hierarchy.

As I comment on fellow COETAILer’s sites, I have found that many sites are easier than others which leads me to ask my own question of which sites is mine like?

Are viewers navigating my site with ease?

Are others finding it easy to navigate my page? Is leaving a comment easy to understand, or do you have to search for it…. I think constantly reflecting on your own work and seeing examples of what others are doing and have been doing is a great way to continue growth.

Here is an image of my COETAIL page during courses 1 & 2 and you’d think after months of lock down and self-isolation due to the global pandemic my site would be much more appealing, but sadly that is not the case.

So here it is after some minor changes, I must say I am much happier about it. I hope with these changes it will attract more viewers to my blog and keep the comments flowing.

As you can see, I chose to change the initial image, as even before when placing it there, it never seemed to be quite right. So changing the quote to a larger one with different colors and font will hopefully allow viewers to more positively interact with my page. Adding a background image and other headers I found to be beneficial since the research suggests that the top left corner of a site is the first thing seen. Along with a better balance and alignment, my changes to the organization will allow readers to hopefully stay on my page longer and find adding their comments less cumbersome.